Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Week: 1971 -- "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves"

It's music week here at Gen Xtinct. We're dividing the 1970s and 1980s into 5 eras, and each day we'll pick a song from a different era.

For Monday, we're starting at the very beginning of the era, with 1971 and Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves."

This song was a rockin' revelation for many of us. We kind of thought gypsies were a made up thing, created so that girls who didn't plan ahead at Halloween could just throw a skirt and some scarves on and load up with jewelry. Bingo, instant gypsy costume. We didn't realize they were an actual group of people who were totally discriminated against by lecherous men in various towns, man!

I love how subtly Cher gets knocked up in this song. "Papa woulda shot him if he knew what he'd done" and then "three months later" she's a "gal in trouble." He got filled with more than just a hot meal, if you ask me.

This might just be my favorite Cher song ever. "Born in the wagon of a traveling show..." is a great opener, and there's a real feel of looming sinister goings-on in "every night all the men would come around...and lay their money down." And of course, how the end makes a complete circle, with now Cher's daughter being born in the same wagon and Cher as the one who takes over her mom's role as the sexy dancer. It's got all the great elements that make a story song work. I miss the great story songs of that era.

Was this a favorite of yours growing up?


Kyle said...

No mention of the amazing karaoke cover of this song in the blowfish episode of the Simpsons? So great. I wish I could link to the clip but argh, Fox.

Deanna said...

This was my first favorite song! I used to be so excited when it would come on the car radio!

Sylko said...

This is one of my favorites! I also love Bonbi Gentry's Rainmaker & Fancy.

Lisa said...

Oh yes, I loved this song. It may have been my very first 45! :)

Germaine said...

You are really helping me relive my childhood. I still love this song!